ANKARA (AA) – Turkey’s benchmark index closed the day with an increase of 272.89 points to stand at 77,666.58 points on Wednesday.

The BIST 100 index rose by 0.35 percent with a total trading volume of 4.4 billion Turkish liras (approximately $1.1 billion).

On the third day of the week, the banking sector index increased by 0.03 percent, while the holding sector index slipped by 1.06 percent. The basic metal sector index gained the most — 5.37 percent — while the holding and investment index declined the most, 1.06 percent.

The most heavily-traded stocks were lenders Garanti Bank, Akbank, Halkbank, major cement producer Afyon Cimento and the country’s national flag carrier, Turkish Airlines.

Eregli Demir Celik, part of Turkey’s major steel producer Erdemir, enjoyed a 6.64 percent rise in its shares — the highest of the day — while shares of Verusa Holding, a private equity and venture capital investment company, saw the biggest drop with 3.47 percent decline.

The Borsa Istanbul Gold Exchange index increased 0.42 percent in value, with gold trading at 147,850 Turkish liras (around $3,791) per kilogram.

The U.S. dollar/Turkish lira exchange hit new records and increased steeply to stand at 3.8820 as of 5 p.m. (1400GMT) Wednesday, compared to 3.7770 in Tuesday’s closing session.

The recent demand for the U.S. dollar against the Turkish lira comes amid shallow market conditions and appears to be an overly speculative move, Cemil Ertem, a top adviser to President Recep Tayyip Erdogan, said Wednesday.

Turkey’s economy ran a current account deficit of $2.27 billion in November, substantially lower than market forecasts for the month, official data showed on Wednesday.

The current account deficit was almost flat compared to the previous month, standing at around $2.27 billion in November – up just $32 million year-on-year, according to the Central Bank of Turkey.

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